Category Archives: Quotes

Move On Over

“Research shows that living abroad expands your mental horizons and increases your creativity. However, merely traveling abroad doesn’t produce this benefit. Executives report that it takes at least three months to become immersed in a place and appreciate how the culture, politics and history of a region affect business there.”

Pankaj Ghemawat, Global Strategy Professor at IESE

Hey all you business professionals, its time to start figuring out your next big move!

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B-School in a Nutshell

“If you have a week where you don’t have more work than you can possibly do, then you need to complain to the director.”
– Professor Grant

Looks like we’re right on track then! Out of commission this week due to finals – be back next week to write about my upcoming, well-deserved trip to London.

 

Nerdy humor from some classmates, since a sense of humor is a must in grad school…

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In Over Your Head

If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

– T.S. Eliot

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Ruin is the Road to Transformation

For H

There was something in the air on Saturday. Some kind of eerie tri-fecta with it being Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby and the super moon all on the same evening. The day started out a bit rough, and with a slew of bad things happening along with it being a sad anniversary of the passing of an old friend, I was ready to call it an early night entirely. However, I was caught in the super moon’s orbit and after a night of too many of Pravda’s Sake-tinis I found myself glued to the tv watching Eat Pray Love at 2am…

“A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It’s called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it along with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It’s one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked around at this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.

Eat Pray Love

I love this book/movie because it hits so many crucial areas: love, finding yourself, spirituality, exploration… etc etc. This instantly reminded me of how many of my friends are unhappy with how things have turned out and feel trapped in their current circumstances. My cousin Prem and I even had a similar conversation a few years back when we both felt stuck in a rut. That rut is what got me to change big things in my life. But the real problem isn’t with being unhappy where we currently are, its what happens if we choose not to do anything about trying to fix it. Ruin is indeed a gift – it gives us the courage and the ammo we need to start over. Dory, one of my close friends in California, recently left her job after being miserable for several years; hearing from her today and how she is having an amazing time pursuing a new career venture brought me back to how I felt when I had just left my previous job and had taken time off to travel. Trying a new job, taking part in some long-term traveling, moving to another country… these are all very different things but can be quite terrifying but give us that same high. And for many of us, we won’t get to that point of rediscovery until we have been pushed to our limit with how much we can endure in our current situation.

Everything in our lives is fleeting. Today’s success and happiness may not be there tomorrow, but same with today’s worries and feelings of inadequacy. And if you are feeling like a mess, or well, just stuck, then I hope that you are able to channel that energy and use it to propel you forward in the right direction. Or maybe just any direction. You’ll figure it out.

Because this is a travel blog after all, I would like to keep it relative. If you are nodding along reading this and feeling like you need to make some changes in your life, perhaps consider taking part in some work exchange/volunteer programs in other countries. It’s relatively affordable, you’ll be able to visit amazing places, and you’ll find yourself working odd jobs that you would never have seen yourself doing before. A girl I spoke to that did this for a year and had jobs like shucking oysters for pearls, working with sea turtles and herding sheep. Sure its a little atypical, but the positive impact you make with the work you do just may give you the kind of inspiration you need to make some positive changes in your own life.

Work Exchange/Volunteer Resources:

Wwoof 

Help Exchange (HelpX)

Workaway.info


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The Soapbox Chronicles: Taking a Chance On a Terrible Idea

Frances: Well I mean, who wouldn’t love to buy a villa in Tuscany. But the way my life has been going, that would be a terrible idea.

Katherine: Terrible ideas. Don’t you just love those.

Under The Tuscan Sun

Sure it’s a chick flick, but I love this movie and not just because there’s a scene in Positano. Guys, I wouldn’t blame you if you secretly love it too. It’s about a woman who was depressed and at a very low point in her life, and she took a chance on something incredibly risky and a bit scary and turned her life completely around. It made me think about how often times we let the realistic and logical side of ourselves keep us from experiencing some amazing things. Why are we so concerned about being realistic anyway? What’s the harm in dreaming big and having a few crazy, I-cant-believe-I-just-did-that moments in our lives? I could use a few more of those myself. And don’t we typically regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did?

Katherine: You have to live spherically, in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way.

Last summer I was very undecided about whether or not to leave NYC for a few months and travel. One night, I was out at a bar with some friends, and I had struck up conversation with a girl I had just met. Out of the blue she drops into the conversation how her and her husband decided to leave their jobs and travel Asia for a few months. I couldn’t believe how ironic it was that she brought that up since I hadn’t mentioned that I was having such a mental struggle about taking my own career break. When I told her about my fear of returning to NYC and having difficulty in finding another job, she responded that they had the same concerns but they knew that they were smart and capable, and they were confident that they would land on their feet sooner or later. That girl will never know this, but that conversation may have been the tipping point in my decision to go. The decision itself is the hardest part after all, and I had put up obstacles out of fear. When you simplify things, ask why not, and have some faith in yourself, the decision suddenly becomes a lot easier. And now that I’m back in NYC and in the heart of that scary stage of returning to “normal life” again, I’m realizing that this is also part of the whole experience. I didn’t leave just to travel – I wanted to learn more, see more, and most importantly, be more in my life. And I’m still growing.

So maybe your “terrible idea” isn’t taking a trip around the world (and if it is, I hope you go!), but perhaps there’s something that you’ve been struggling with and can’t seem to fully rationalize. I feel that most of us can talk ourselves out of anything when we want to, but what about taking a chance on yourself, branching out and being a little more fearless in some of the decisions in your life. Live spherically.

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The Soapbox Chronicles: Self-Reflection & Rediscovery Through Travel

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

– Albert Einstein

This week was the birthday of one of my closest friends. She, like many of my friends, is unhappy at her job. However, she’s having a difficult time grasping the work and as a result its really affected her self confidence and professional capabilities. The above quote reminded me of her.

I remember going to a few happy hours with coworkers while at my last job. The conversation eventually turned to real estate (I worked with a bunch of brokers) and I always felt tongue tied or that I didn’t have enough to offer. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to do my job well – I was there for several years and felt that I was pretty darn good at what I did if I do say so myself – I just wasn’t able to be engaged by the topic. I remember feeling that I must just really suck at networking.

Fast forward to 6 months later where my life has become a little different. I left that job and spent a few months traveling, having the time of my life, and doing some major self-reflection. During those few months I also started engaging in the travel community through my blog and in other ways, and I realized that I wanted to pursue travel as more than just a hobby. When I returned to New York I wanted to hit the ground running and look for new opportunities in the industry. I connected to a few travel related events in the city, and I soon found myself wrapped up in long, fascinating conversations with people I had just met. The problem wasn’t that I was bad at networking or talking with people, but that I just hadn’t found an area where I could really shine.

I’m still learning a lot about the travel industry, but what’s important is that I found something that truly sparks my interest and where I can connect with others in a way that doesn’t seem, well, like so much work! The truth is that if I hadn’t taken a chance to step outside my comfort zone and explore other sides of myself while traveling, I may never have figured that out. And if you are in a job that doesn’t suit you then chances are you may have some doubts about your potential as well. If that’s the case, then I hope you’re not afraid to step off the beaten path and search for what’s right for you, or to take a career break, explore some other options and get your hands a little dirty. Hey, an around the world trip is just one way to find some inspiration – I can personally attest to that.

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Fly

* Thanks to Hallie for sharing this quote!

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Take a Leap

Quote by Neale Donald Walsch

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Decide to Go

“All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. So go!”

Across Asia on the Cheap, the first Lonely Planet travel guide written by founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler back in 1973.

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December 21, 2011 · 4:45 am

Take a Gamble

“Gamble on yourself. I’d gamble on you.”

“After the Fire”  –  Modern Family

 

When it comes to taking a big jump, the time will never be just right. If you really want it, take the gamble and make it happen.

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December 9, 2011 · 9:43 pm